Sine, Cosine, Tangent

I do not own the characters in The World Ends with You, nor do I own the rights to the game.

If I did, I wouldn't be writing fan fiction about it, would I?

The room looked like a New Age-y bar. The kind of bar created by a guy with too much time on his hands. There were windows on the floor, which seemed to lead to water. Sho Minamimoto decided not to question the mathematical and physical impossibilities. After all...

He was dead.

Standing in front of the bar was a thin, long-haired, sinister-looking man in equally sinister-looking sunglasses. Behind the bar was a much bigger, sinister-looking man with long white hair in his face, one golden eye, and appeared to be... preparing ramen.

Twenty chairs were strewn in front of the sunglasses man, facing in his direction. After a bit of confusion on where to sit down, Sho decided to sit next to the zetta hot blonde girl with glasses. Sounded like a good idea.

Finally, the man with sunglasses spoke. "Now, I'm sure you've realized this by now, but all of you have one thing in common. You're dead."

Sho and the girl sitting next to him already seemed to have figured it out. A lot of the others were taken by surprise. The expected amount of chaos ensued.

"Sorry if you didn't already know this..." the man apologized with a complete lack of sincerity. "But not all hope is lost. You are about to take part in The Game, an opportunity for a second chance at life. Win, and you may be granted access into the real Shibuya. Fail... and face erasure."

The man looked like he wanted to pause for dramatic effect. Unfortunately, the man behind the bar had other plans.

"Ramen's ready, sir!" The man behind the bar shouted.

"Right. Higashizawa, give a bowl to each of the players, instead of interrupting me."

The giant did just that. The ramen smelled as good as a fraction that reduces to 1, but Sho was focused on the shady man in front. If he wanted to come back to life, he had to pay attention.

Come to think of it, this was probably the first time he had ever felt it necessary to listen to a lecture. Usually, the information they provided was either irrelevant, or Sho already knew the answers.

"My name is Megumi Kitanji, the Conductor of Shibuya. The Conductor is one of the people who runs the game, second only to the Composer, who does not like to make a habit of revealing himself to Players. That's you, by the way. You are this week's Players. Every day, our Game Master will send you a text message on your cell. You have to fulfill the mission that he assigns you. If you fail, you'll be erased. Obliterated. Even more dead than you are now."

"In the UG, the 'underground,' nobody can see you except for other Players and Reapers. There are two kinds of Reapers: Harriers and Support. Support Reapers are completely harmless, they won't do anything to you. But Harriers, on the other hand..." Kitanji chuckled theatrically.

"Their entire purpose is to erase as many players as possible. If they don't, I personally erase them. So it's a dog-eat-dog world in the UG. But there are rules. Harriers can't attack you themselves. Only the Game Master gets that privilege, and only on the seventh day. Instead, Harriers have to sic noise on you."

Inevitably, someone raised their hand. "What's a Noise?" the boy asked.

Kitanji stuck out his arm. "This." Suddenly, a green frog with weird symbols on its back appeared out of nowhere. A few Players jumped out of their seats and backed away. The frog lunged at a random Player, and a beam of light came out of Kitanji's hand, causing the frog to vanish.

"In order to fight them, you need two things. First, you need to find a partner. Noise will automatically attack any Player without a partner, and if you don't have a partner, they're completely invincible. Second, you need a weapon. In order to fight them, you have to use pins." A couple of Players snickered at the thought of using a pin as a weapon. "Go ahead, laugh. It's hilarious until you realize that you've blown your chance at reincarnation." The players stopped laughing.

"Now, it looks like I've covered everything. Are there any questions?"

Sho quickly raised his hand.

"Yes? The kid with the baseball cap?"

Sho cleared his throat, and asked a question that had been bugging him since the beginning of Kitanji's speech.

"Wait... I've been trying to factor this out. Your name is Megumi, right?"

Kitanji nodded, although the look of despair made it apparent that he seemed to know where this was going.

Sho went on. "Isn't that a girl's name?" This, inexplicably, caused roars of laughter to come from the Players with a less refined sense of humor.

Kitanji facepalmed. "Yes... yes it is." This, amazingly, caused more laughter.

This didn't answer the most important part of Sho's question, but he decided not to push any further. Having a ruler of the underworld as an enemy was not on his to-do list.


The blonde girl had a question, now.

Kitanji hesitantly called on her, but with a warning; "If this question has anything to do with my name, I will erase you, no matter what the Composer's rules dictate."

"My question does not concern your name. I was simply inquiring... everybody that dies has a free chance to come back to the real world, with no strings attached?"

Kitanji looked confused for a moment, then laughed. "Of course... how could I forget?" Suddenly, a gigantic blue door appeared behind him. "If you go through this door, I'll give you a Player Pin." He held up a black pin with a symbol of a skull on it. "This wonderful little gadget marks you as a Player, and guest of Shibuya's underground. But there is a price. You must wager the thing you value most. You'll only get it back if you win."

The blonde girl was still a bit confused. "I see... but what is it we value most?"

Kitanji shrugged. "It varies from player to player. But rest assured... you will know what it is when it's gone. And you will miss it. So, anybody that does not want to take that chance, you don't have to step into the door. You can, instead, opt for erasure. It's quite painless. So... time to make a choice."

About eighteen of the players stood up and walked towards the door. Two stayed behind, too afraid of what might happen if they lost.

As Sho looked upon the players walking through the door, he saw a familiar face.

That damn YOCTOGRAM! How the factor did he get here? Well... of course he was here, but...

Sho finally noticed someone tapping his shoulder. He turned around. It was the blonde girl from before.

"You seem like a strong and reasonably intelligent Player. When we go through that door, I would suggest we partner up to increase both of our chances of winning."

Sho didn't have to think about it for too long. He would need a partner, this girl seemed pretty smart (and zetta sexy), and she was asking him to be his partner.

"Well, Some Old Horses Can Always Hear Their Owners Approach! I'll pair off with you! Heh... this Game seems like it's gonna be zetta interesting. I'm Sho Minamimoto."

"And I'm Mitsuki Konishi. Well then... shall we?"

The two of them walked through the blue door together, unaware of what exactly they could lose by doing it.

Author's Note: Hope I'm doing a decent job portraying the characters' personalities. This takes place about five years before Neku's game, if anyone's interested.